A big-hearted 12-year-old plans to burst his way through ten metres of bubble wrap in his wheelchair to raise funds to help his foster family and friends who visit Bluebell Wood.

Chris Kay, who has a degenerative neurological condition that means he’s unable to walk, discovered the additive joys of bubble-wrap popping when he was looking for something to fill the hours in lockdown. 

Seeing just how much fun he was having, his foster carers Anne Reid and Catherine Mair decided to turn his new pastime into a 'Popathon' fundraising mission.

The couple, who have collectively fostered over 100 children, many of whom have complex needs, are currently looking after two children who visit Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Now cheeky Chris, who goes to Seven Hills School in Sheffield, is determined to help the charity that supports those closest to him by popping every bubble as quick as he can.

“We wanted to really give Chris something to focus on, something he can really get his teeth into,” said Anne, who’s been looking after Chris with her wife Catherine for the past two years.

“Having a degenerative condition and all the uncertainty that comes with it can be incredibly tough for him so we hope this will help build his confidence and self-esteem.

“He’s such a prankster and he’s very funny so this challenge is right up his street. And it’s also a brilliant chance for him to help his family and friends who visit Bluebell Wood.

“Everyone loves Chris and he has the most beautiful smile so now it’s time to get behind him for his Popathon.”

The family have a long-standing relationship with Bluebell Wood, with the charity even helping the couple’s dream wedding become a reality last year by helping to care for foster child Sarah who needs round-the-clock care. 

“We’re quite involved with the local foster carer community and several of us were going to do Bluebell Wood’s Dragon Boat race to support the life-changing charity,” said Anne.

“Unfortunately the event had to be cancelled this year so this is a fantastic and inclusive way to give something back.

“Bluebell Wood is such an incredibly important place that’s there for families like ours during the hardest times of their lives, so we really want to help after what’s been such a challenging year.

“This seems like the perfect way to do it as there are so many people like Chris who use wheelchairs and will never be able to run a marathon or do a sponsored walk.

“This is a challenge you need wheels to do and we’d love to see more people in wheelchairs taking part.

“We want the Popathon to be as big as a marathon – the sky’s the limit!”

Chris’s Popathon will take place on Sunday, September 20th at 2pm at Norfolk Park’s main entrance. 

Sally Baker, Community Fundraising Manager at Bluebell Wood, said: “This is such a fantastic and fun challenge and we can’t thank Chris and his foster family enough for their amazing support.

“We can’t wait to see him in action we’ll be behind him every step of the way. Best of luck, Chris.”

You can support Chris’s challenge here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/popathon2020